The upcoming Fifa 2022 World Cup Qualifier between South Korea and North Korea in Pyongyang will not be screened live, it has been confirmed by South Korean broadcasters.
A joint statement on Monday from South Korea's biggest terrestrial television broadcasters KBS, MBC and SBS announced that the fears the game would not be beamed from the capital of their northern neighbours were accurate.
KBS reported on their website that the three broadcasters had not received a response from Pyongyang until Monday, a day before the first meeting between the men's national teams in North Korea since 1990.
The report also confirmed that no South Korean reporters were permitted to travel to the North Korean capital.
South Korean players and staff were to travel to their northern neighbour via Beijing after being refused their request to travel direct.
While there will be no away fans at the 50,000 capacity Kim Il-sung Stadium, the Seoul-based English language newspaper Korea Times reports that local fans are willing to pay to see South Korean stars Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in.
Tickets from touts were said to cost US$6, the equivalent to buying 10 kilograms of rice, according to Korea Times.
It was unclear whether foreign tourists or diplomats would be allowed to purchase tickets for the game, or if rumours were true that it will be played behind closed doors.
Neither Fifa nor the AFC had made a statement on the situation. It is not unusual for games played in North Korea involving foreign opponents to not be broadcast live overseas.
While the men's team have not played in Pyongyang since their 1990 friendly match, South Korea's women played there in 2017.
The two countries competed under a unified flag for a number of events at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. It had also been reported that Seoul and Pyongyang are considering a joint bid for the 2032 Summer Games.
Earlier this month South Korean president Moon Jae-in told the public to back the proposal, after receiving support from IOC president Thomas Bach.
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